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Industry dynamics

Europe Stainless steel prices boosts restriction
  • 2017-02-08

Stainless steel strip prices from European mill continued to strengthen in January. The substantial increasing pressure due to raw material costs was diminished. But nowdays global stainless steel supply remains extremely tight due to nickel. It results in domestic mill delivery lead times stretched into the second quarter. .Moreover third country import volumes were affected with trade defence measures

Stainless steel purchasing activity was subdued before Christmas In January underlying demand was released .Then steelmakers received more orders. Producers are looking to implement further increases with trading resumes properly. They continue to be very strict on pricing policy.

Germany’s manufacturing sales volume was buoyant at the end of 2016.And the expert forecasted it will be at a similar level or even higher compared to 2016. And the result is stainless steel strip basis values continue to advance. Buyers believe that the steelmakers will continue to take advantage in the situation by claiming even higher prices. Service centre stocks are described as mid-range to low. Resale values possibility is very high.

Purchasing activity is still moderate in the French market but the auto industry. The imports absence may cause availability problems like domestic mill delivery lead times it may stretch to April. EU producers are willing to propose further price increases. As far as we know it is likely to be acceptable.

Regard to Italian stainless steel strip,the import volumes drop due to Antidumping legislation.Their product basis figures moved up due to tight supply. Delivery lead times from European steelmakers were extended. Transactions were slow at the start of 2017. Speculative purchasing during September/October results in service centre inventories are on the high side. But distributors ignore the costs of replacement. So resale values remain depressed currently . According to our experance , Cong Shine (shanghai) metal material co.,ltd thinks the stainless steel price will increase after China Spring festival.

UK stockists are dependent on imported steel from China heavily .But the weaker pound sterling creates additional upward price pressure. China stainless steel suppliers may add £30/40 per tonne for April business. Distributors’ sales were steady in January while resale values continued to move up. But we think there are absolutely some changes in next weeks.

Stainless steel demand in Spanish is stable.it may expand a little. But we think the outlook 2017 is positive with strengthen manufacturing sector growth . Customers thinks a rise €20/30 per tonne is reasonable in March. But we still think stainless steel distributors still encounter difficulties when trying to pass on the signal to the marketplace in the short term.

Source: Meps Steel review

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